Friday, July 9, 2010

How To Make Your Facebook Boss Proof

Step one of your job search: announce that you are looking. I went on facebook and posted a status update to all of my friends and family. I got an overwhelming response of positive messages and job leads, ultimately leading to a great job. This was in March 2010, so the economy was officially screwed by this point.

I like facebook. But as it becomes more popular, you start to collect more and more "friends" who you wouldn't normally hang out with, like your boss. It's also not unheard of for a prospective employer to stalk your facebook profile during your interview process.

Keeping your information private is common sense, but it's also a very easy mistake to make in haste. So here's how you fix your privacy settings on facebook.

At the home page, click Account --> Privacy Settings.

Under Sharing on Facebook, click Custom.

At the bottom of the list of text on the right, click Customize settings.

At the top of this list, where it says Posts by me, click on the box at right (mine says Friends Only) and select Custom edit.

Make this visible to Friends Only (or be even more selective, it's up to you). Under Hide this from, type your boss' name and anybody else you don't want to see your status updates. Save settings.

Your settings for Posts by me should now say Custom.

That's all there is to it. I prefer facebook over other more professional social networking sites, because it's a direct link to people (family and friends) who will typically go the extra mile to help you succeed. In my case, using facebook is much more effective than any recruiter has ever been.

Anyway, more on this later. Clearly facebook is only one piece of the puzzle -- you need to fix your resume and other things before you can get a job -- but it's a great place to start.


  1. One of my favorite résumé stories is about a friend of mine who is fairly early in her career. She has a very good job now, but not too long after moving to Chicago she lost her job, worked for the census for a short time (in the first wave of hiring in early 2009, not the recent big wave) but then got laid off. She sent out résumé after generic résumé and got no interviews. Finally, fed up, she made one that essentially consisted of bullet points of character traits in 14 pt font with no substantiation of them, plus a list of her work history and dates. We're talking things like "Arrives early, stays until the job is done" "Hard worker." "Great people skills." And a few others. No details about her previous job, no data, nothing but that list and job titles, company names and dates. She got a call for an interview at a real estate management company the next day and was hired on the spot. (She hated the job, and promptly found a better one that she's doing very well in now, but that's not the main point.) In my last job search I never had the guts to try what she did, but I think it's a good illustration of how making your résumé stand out, even if that means drastically breaking the 'rules' can yield surprisingly good results.

  2. Dangit. You can delete the above. I reposted the comment on the RIGHT post.